Core Practice 1 — Body Basics: Arriving

All somatic practices share some basic elements, such as breathing, sensory awareness, and body scan, regardless of the type, teacher, or lineage of the practice. This Exploration offers a short invitation to ‘wake up’ (in) your body. You can do this anytime, and also return to it before you work with any of the other materials. That these techniques are simple doesn’t necessarily mean they are ‘easy’. Much like with any skill, or hobby, it can take a lifetime of returning to basics in order to deepen our skills, and let something become ‘second nature’.


Further Reading

Adler, J. (2002) Offering from the Conscious Body. The Discipline of Authentic Movement. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions.

Batson, G. (2014) Body and Mind in Motion: Dance and Neuroscience in Conversation. Bristol: Intellect.

Benei, V. (2008) Schooling Passions: Nation, History, and Language in contemporary western India. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Benei, V. (2016) Santa Marta Poetica ou dire le politique autrement. Explorations ethnograhiques en Caraïbe colombienne. Paris: L’Harmattan.

Blacking, J. (ed.) (1977) The anthropology of the body. London and New York: Academic Press.

Boyce, K. (2013) ‘The thinking body: dance, philosophy and modernism’, in Bunker, J., Pakes, A. & Rowell, B. (eds.) Thinking through dance. The philosophy of dance performance and practices. Binsted, Hampshire: Dance Books, pp. 256-272.

Chemero, A. (2009) Radical embodied cognitive science. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Clark, A. (2016) Surfing uncertainty. Prediction, action and the embodied mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Classen, C. (1997) ‘Foundations for an anthropology of the senses’, International Social Science Journal, 49(153), pp. 401-412.

Claxton, G. (2015) Intelligence in the flesh. Why your mind needs your body much more than it thinks. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Conrad, E. (2007) Life on Land: The Story of Continuum, The World-Renowned Self-Discovery and Movement Method. Berkely, California: North Atlantic books.

Csordas, T. J. (1993) ‘Somatic Modes of Attention’, Cultural Anthropology, 8(2), pp. 135-156.

David, A. (2013) ‘Ways of moving and thinking: the emplaced body as a tool for ethnographic research’, in Harrop, P. & Njaradi, D. (eds.) Performance and ethnography. Dance, drama, music. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 45-66.

De Spain, K. (2014) Landscape of the Now. A Topography of Movement Improvisation. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Desmond, J. C. (ed.) (1997) Meaning in Motion. New cultural studies of dance. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Eddy, M. (2009) ‘A brief history of somatic practices and dance: historical development of the field of somatic education and its relationship to dance’, Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, 1(1), pp. 5-27.

Eddy, M. (2016) Mindful Movement: Mindful Movement: The Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action. Bristol: Intellect.

Evans, J. and Davies, B. (eds.) (2013) New Directions in Social Theory, Education and Embodiment. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Farnell, B. (1999) ‘Moving Bbodies, acting selves’, Annu Rev Anthropology, 28, pp. 341-373.

Fraleigh, S. (2015) ‘Dancing Becomes Walking’, in Fraleigh, S. (ed.) Moving consciously. Somatic transformations through dance, yoga, and touch. Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield: University of Illinois Press, pp. 50-71.

Gardner, H. (1983) Frames of mind. The theory of multiple intelligences. London: Fontana Press.

Gehm, S., Husemann, P. and von Wilcke, K. (eds.) (2007) Knowledge in Motion. Perspectives of Artistic and Scientific Research in Dance. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag.

Goody, J. (2002) ‘The Anthropology of the Senses and Sensations’, La Ricerca Folklorica, 45(April), pp. 17-28.

Grau, A. (2012) ‘Dancing bodies, spaces/places and the senses: A cross-cultural investigation’, Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, 3(1-2), pp. 5-24.

Halprin, D. (2003) The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy. Working with movement, Metaphor and Meaning. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Hanna, R. and Maiese, M. Embodied minds in action. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Holland, D. (2004) ‘Integrating mindfulness meditation and somatic awareness into a public educational setting’, journal of Humanistic Psychology, 44(4), pp. 468-484.

Hurdley, R. and Dicks, B. (2011) ‘In-between practice: working in the ‘thirdspace’ of sensory and multimodal methodology’, Qualitative Research, 11(3), pp. 277-292.

Ingold, T. (2011) Being Alive. Essays on movement, knowledge and description. London and New york: Routledge.

Kolk, B. v. d. (2014) The body keeps the score. Mind, brain and body in the transformation of trauma. Penguin Books.

Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1999) Philosophy in the Flesh. The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought. New York: Basic Books.

Leigh Foster, S. (1995) ‘An introduction to moving bodies: choreographing history’, in Leigh Foster, S. (ed.) Choreographing history Unnatural acts: theorizing the performative. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp. 3-21.

Lewis, J. 2011. Language, Music and the Brain: A mysterious relationship. A Cross-Cultural Perspective on the Significance of Music and Dance on Culture and Society, with Insight from BaYaka Pygmies. In: Forum, E.S.n. (ed.).

McGregor, W., Barnard, P., deLahunta, S., Wilson, J. and Douglas-Allan, E. (2013) Mind and movement. Choreographic Thinking Tools. London: Sadler’s Wells.

Miller, J. P. and Nigh, K. (eds.) (2017) Holistic education and embodied learning. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Morley, J. (2001) ‘Inspiration and expiration: yoga practice through Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of the body’, Philosophy East & West, 51(1), pp. 73-82.

Novack, C. J. (1995) ‘The body’s endeavors as cultural practices’, in Leigh Foster, S. (ed.) Choreographing history Unnatural acts: theorizing the performative. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp. 177-184.

O’Dell, T. and Willim, R. (2013) ‘Transcription and the Senses’, The Senses and Society, 8(3), pp. 314-334.

Pallaro, P. (ed.) (1999) Authentic Movement: Essays by Mary Starks Whitehouse, Janet Adler and Joan Chodorow. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Pink, S. (2011) ‘Multimodality, multisensoriality and ethnographic knowing: social semiotics and the phenomenology of perception’, Qualitative Research, 11(3), pp. 261-276.

Pink, S. (2015) Doing Sensory Ethnography. London: Sage Publications.

Reeve, S. (2011) Nine ways of seeing a body. Axminster: Triarchy Press.

Reeve, S. (ed.) (2013) Body and performance. Ways of being a body. Axminster, Devon: Triarchy Press.

Samuel, G. (1990) Mind, body and culture. Anthropology and the biological interface. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Shapiro, L. (2011) Embodied cognition. London and New York: Routledge.

Skinner, J. (2005) ‘Editorial: embodiment and teaching and learning in anthropology’, Anthropology in Action, 12(2), pp. v-ix.

Skinner, J., Davis, B., Davidson, R., Wheeler, K. and Metcalf, S. (1979) ‘Skinner Releasing Technique: Imagery and its Application to Movement Training’, Contact Quarterly, 5(1).

Sklar, D. (1994) ‘Can Bodylore Be Brought to Its Senses?’, The Journal of American Folklore, 107(423), pp. 9-22.

Snowber, C. (2011) ‘Let the body out: A love letter to the academy from the body’, in Malewski, E. & Jaramillo, N. (eds.) Epistemologies of Ignorance in Education. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Snowber, C. (2012) Dance as a Way of Knowing.

Spatz, B. (2015) What a body can do. Technique as knowledge, practice as research Abingdon, Oxon and New York: Routledge.

Stoller, P. (1997) Senuous Scholarship (Contemporary Ethnography). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Sullivan, S. (2016) ‘(Re)embodying which body? Philosophical, cross-cultural and personal reflections on corporeality’, in Pellicer-Thomas, R., de Lucia, V. & Sullivan, S. (eds.) Contributions to Law, Philosophy and Ecology: Exploring Re-embodiments Routledge Law, Justice and Ecology Series. London: GlassHouse Books, pp. 119-138.

Todres, L. (2007) Embodied Enquiry. Phenomenological touchstones for research, psychotherapy and spirituality. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Tuffnel, M. (2017) When I open my eyes: dance, health, imagination. Binsted, Hampshire: Dance Books.

Varela, C. R. (1995) ‘Cartesianism revisited: the ghost in the moving machine or the lived body’, in Farnell, B. (ed.) Human Action Signs in Cultural Context. The Visible and the Invisible in Movement and Dance. New York and London: The Scarecrow Press, pp. 216-293.

Whatley, S., Garrett Brown, N. and Alexander, K. (eds.) (2015) Attending to Movement. Somatic Perspectives on Living in this World.

White, H. (1995) ‘Corpologue: Bodies and their plots’, in Leigh Foster, S. (ed.) Choreographing history Unnatural acts: theorizing the performative. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp. 229-234.